Charles James (American, born Great Britain, 1906–1978)
Mulberry wool broadcloth
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mrs. R. A. Bernatschke, 1955 (2009.300.10a,b)
James's precise cut based on geometric forms, particularly the arc, is evident in this mulberry broadcloth suit. The arc begun in the bodice seams extends to the cut of the sleeve, while the curved yoke at the skirt waist, shaped like a nineteenth-century corselet, follows the natural lines of the female body for an attractive and comfortable fit. The attenuated open welt sleeve seams tapering at the ends are another distinctive James construction element trumpeting his virtuosity and uncompromising perfectionism.